Many people take a “set it and forget it” approach to estate planning. This is, they think their work is done once they make a will and other important estate documents. What few people realize is that an executor isn’t just tasked with locating your will when you die. Your executor must also gather all your financial documents, including bank statements, retirement account information, life insurance documents, and other paperwork. Depending on the decedent’s level of organization, this can be a daunting and sometimes even an impossible task.
By keeping all your financial documents together and well-organized, you can make life much easier for your loved ones and yourself. Here are a few steps to keep in mind.
Your Estate Planning Documents
Keep your will and all your other estate documents together in a safe place, such as a home safe or a safe deposit box. Once you have a safe, secure location for these documents, make sure your executor and other key individuals know where to find them.
Your Health Care Documents
Some documents, such as a health care power of attorney and a living will, might need to be accessed very quickly. For example, if you are in an accident, the person you named as your health care power of attorney agent should be able to get to your documents easily and quickly. Make sure you keep them in a place that is easily accessible and known to important individuals.
Your Financial Information
Make a list of all your financial accounts and obligations. Include the name of the company, the account number, and any usernames and passwords needed to gain access to digital accounts. You can also attach copies of recent financial statements to the list. Obviously, it’s important to keep this list in a safe place where it can’t fall into the wrong hands.
St. Paul Estate Planning and Probate Lawyers
Estate planning doesn’t have to be overwhelming or complicated. Call the Minnesota probate and estate planning attorneys at Jeffrey P. Scott & Associates, LLC today our office to talk about your estate planning or probate case. Our lawyers are here to help.